Friday, January 29, 2010
The Stop Slots at Arundel Mills activists indicated today they are very optimistic that they will have the 9,500 petition signatures required by a February 5 deadline. If this is the case, they will receive an extension to collect all 19,000 signatures required by law to send Bill 82-09 to referendum in the 2010 ballot. The final deadline for all signatures is 30 days after February 5, or Monday March 7, 2010.
When I contacted Rob Annicelli from the Stop Slots at Arundel Mills group, he said, “If we get 19,000 signatures, AA Co. residents will be able to vote on the zoning legislation passed by the county. This legislation would result in Cordish having the only slots license in Anne Arundel County, excluding Laurel Park. If this bill is placed on the ballot and voted down, then the AA County Council will have to either allow slots zoning for Laurel or not at all.”
Having been involved in the struggle to bring slots to Maryland Horse Racing for many years, there is only one thing I am sure of. The legislators want that slots money. After rejecting it for years, they are now talking about the addition of table games. Table games? Is there any wonder Cordish Companies is anxious to nail down the gaming rights?
Maryland State Senate President Mike Miller has indicated he would like a slots license for Prince Georges County.
For more on this see: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2010/01/miller_wants_a_prince_georges.html)
The Anne Arundel County Council will not kill the golden goose handed to them by law.
Maryland law states that the slots location will be within two miles of Route 295. Laurel Park Race Course is, of course, within two miles of 295. But so is Arundel Mills, which is why the AA County Council was able to put the slots at the Mills. They can still put them at Laurel where there is far less resistance.
See the original referendum for slots here: http://www.mdhorsemen.com/
Though some in the Laurel area do not want slots, there are far more horse and track-affiliated people that live and work in the area that are in favor of, and hoping for, slots at the track. By comparison, it is hard to find anyone who wants the slots at Arundel Mills.